Around last January or March, Patti Chesley felt compelled to get into making dresses for the poor.
“God just placed upon my heart one Sunday, I heard somebody talking about making dresses and I was blessed with material and had a good response to the dresses,” said Chesley.
Her friend Diane DeWaal had put her name on Facebook so that people could drop off the material with her. Chesley also wanted to put her address out there so that people could come and donate any bits of material to make more dresses.
Chesley and DeWaal do not want any bed sheets, they will only accept material donations.
Chesley doesn’t discriminate with who needs which dress, she just sends them to whoever needs them.
“Some people want them to go to one place and some people want them at another,” said Chesley. “I didn’t want anyone’s feelings hurt so we sent them down to a conference in Abbotsford and they can decide where the dresses should go.”
Her pastor at the takes the dresses down to Abbotsford whenever he finds the time to go, which is quite often according to Chesley.
Although Patti has never seen any of the kids wearing her dresses she hopes to one day.
“I call [the dresses] my babies and people say ‘Patti you’re going to have to let go of your babies,'” said Chesley. “And so it was really hard, because each one is so personal. I practically almost name them!”
“It was so hard because I can see children wearing them. You take a piece of material and you can get something beautiful out of it. It goes to little girls who probably never had a dress. To have a brand new dress, we think that would be really special.”
Patti makes dresses for children sized from two to 14 and can finish a dress in one day depending on the pattern. She usually makes up to three dresses a week but she can make more depending on material and time. She’s made 40 of them so far.
“Nothing is wasted, none of the material is thrown away,” said Patti. She gives the material to two other ladies who make quilts. One lady makes them for the needy and the other lady, Donna Lesley, is making them to try and raise money for Vanderhoof’s future community pool.
You can find DeWaal’s information on facebook but her address for donations is 2933 Burrard Avenue or send any material to Patti Chesley at 2943 Victoria Street.
Donations will also be taken at Sew Rite Designs in the Co-Op mall and at the Nechako Community Church.
Chesley would like to thank the community for all the donations and hopes to see lots more.